Mumbai top cop tops stress list - 'Ahmed Javed has to be twice as careful'

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  • Published 22.10.03

Mumbai, Oct. 22: Ever heard of Ahmed Javed, the dashing top cop of Mumbai? If you haven’t, here’s something you can remember him by: Javed is possibly the most stressed-out person in the whole of India.

In a study by the Indian Association of Occupational Health, Javed, the joint commissioner of police (law and order), has come out tops on the list of “most stressed” persons in Mumbai.

Close on his heels are S.P. Jain, general manager of Central and Western Railways; Ashish Chemburkar, chairman of BEST; Sopan Mare, president of the Mumbai Tiffin Suppliers’ Association, and Sudhir Kumar, director, airport.

Does it then make Javed the most stressed man in the country given that Mumbai is considered the toughest city to live in? “Perhaps,” says T. Rajagopal, a senior researcher who was closely involved with the study.

There are 38,000 policemen working under Javed, who not only has to answer to the people but also to his boss — Mumbai police chief R.S. Sharma. “It is tough to be in Javed’s shoes,” a senior IPS officer and one of his colleagues said.

“There are bombs exploding every month and no one feels safe. Then there is a government in disarray, which puts a lot of pressure on the police every time there is a law and order problem.” That Javed is a Muslim doesn’t help either. “Yes, you can’t deny that,” the officer said, “the fear that your actions will be misinterpreted is very much there. Javed has to be twice as careful.”

If Javed’s job is unenviable, the research was equally tough. Doctors with the association of occupational health sifted through hundreds of professions and thousands of names before picking out the five “stress toppers”.

One of the members, S. Sivaramakrishnan, said although corporate heads faced much stress with competition going global and appraisals done monthly, they did not top the list as their rewards were proportional to their work.

But things were entirely different for the five who got only routine promotions and the occasional pat on the back.

Mare, for instance, handles 5,000 tiffin carriers who supply food to 2 lakh office goers every day. But there is little reward for his labour despite the Mumbai tiffin supply model being studied in the London School of Economics as an “amazing and excellent business model”.

A tiffin carrier, Prabhakar Puran, says: “Babus scream at us if the food reaches five minutes late. Then there is the struggle to get into crowded local trains with such a huge load every day. Each minute counts. Our biggest accessory is our watch.”

Chemburkar is no better off. “I am responsible for thousands of commuters taking our 3,380 buses,” he says. “We carry 45 lakh passengers on 335 routes daily. I hardly have time to breathe as there are complaints from various quarters flying in every two minutes.”

Jain, too, is burdened with the safety of 62 lakh train commuters taking local trains daily. In his hand is a list of hundreds of trains passing through the central and western zones.

But then, every single citizen in Mumbai claims to be stressed. The city has been listed as one of the busiest in the world. A recent study on global cities said people in Mumbai kept the longest hours.